Interact: Andrew Nachison, director of The Media Center, scolds journalism “pros” for dismissing and dissing weblogs and interactivity. Go get ‘em, Andrew:
Give ‘em hell, Jeff. All these arguements are sociological and economic, pretending to be intellectual and criticial.
What blogs are doing for free devalues what they do for money. It lessens their sociological and economic power base. People get very attached to their power bases.
From now on if you want to keep your high-paying media job you better make damn sure that what you write is better than Andrew Sullivan or Choire Sicha. The days of second-rate media are dead. Killed. Over. Now be tangibly useful to me or start collecting food stamps.
The thing that strikes me here is not the underestimation of the quality of weblogs but the overestimation of the quality of what passes for journalism in many newspapers and magazines.
Not every news outlet is the New York Times. My local town paper — in a weekly that can devote a maximum of 10-12 pages a week to actual local news in a densely populated 4 sq. mile, 32,000 resident city — spent an entire page doing a jokey story regarding why our town is better than a neighboring town, “scoring” each on a wide variety of points including this one:
“Matters of Life and Death: Watertown has three cemeteries, if you count the gorgeous Mount Auburn Cemetery (which, although it lies primarily in Watertown, considers itself part of Cambridge). Belmont, on the other hand, has only one cemetery and that has been full for years. The town plans to create a new one, but that’s a long story. Watertown gains one.”
Believe me, it gets sillier, and you can see the rest of it here.
There was a city council meeting last week. But you won’t find mention of it in our paper. For pure informational content I get a lot more out of our local bloggers over on Localfeeds. The problem with a lot of local news outlets isn’t just the quality — it’s whether or not they even show up to cover basic civic events, or have the space or staff resources to do justice to the scope and dimensions of the civic conversation.
Jeff, quit wasting your time with Rosen and Schaffer. Their other baby, “civic journalism,” died on the vine and now they’re trying to get in front of the parade on the blog issue. They’re the old media in J-schools, always following a trend.
I strongly agree with the gist of your post, Jeff, but that last bit is a copout.
You eschew face-to-face confrontation/conversation so you can run back to the safety of your hotel and blog about it instead? Having a face-to-face conversation does not in any way lessen the conversations launched in the blogosphere. You *could* have brought up the issue at the conference.
Granted, I’m a bit shy and wouldn’t have said anything myself. Blogs offer that mediated safety net which allows some of us to reveal more in blogversation than face-to-face. But you, you’re not shy. :-)
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